03/22: Has Herd Immunity Been Achieved in Wuhan?

Wuhan, China was the first epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore tracking its citizens’ immune defenses against COVID-19 can provide crucial information on how to prevent a resurgence of the virus. Researchers from Wuhan conducted a longitudinal study across several months that analyzed the presence of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein — a primary protein present in COVID-19 that is targeted by vaccine researchers — in people selected from around Wuhan. The results show a low presence of neutralizing antibodies in Wuhan’s population, indicating the necessity of vaccinations to develop herd immunity for preventing a resurgence of the virus. The researchers also observed a stable presence of neutralizing antibodies in participants who had them across the project’s nine-month timeline; this provides insight into how long after infection that people with neutralizing antibodies will retain those antibodies, and thereby, protection against COVID-19.